Keeping two little girls and a teenager occupied over the long summer holiday is not easy. We are obviously enjoying our staycation this year, instead of travelling away, but the days do drag occasionally. A friend recommended that we take the girls to Lotherton Hall for the day. It turns out it is only a 10 minute drive away through the country lanes and it’s amazing! I do think we will be making many a family visit to Lotherton Hall.
I thought I should check this out as part of the #RealMomsWhoTravel series – places to take the kids .
The History Of Lotherton Hall
A family visit to Lotherton Hall is definitely one of those days out where there is something for everyone, the whole family. It is a beautiful country home from the Victorian and Edwardian eras located near Aberford, Leeds. Most latterly the house and estate belonged to the Gascoigne family. It was to the City Of Leeds back in 1968 by Sir Alvary and Lady Gascoigne.
The house and gardens are now open to the public for viewing, as well as some other impressive new additions to the grounds. You can see the history of the house, the families who lived there, the treasures they brought back after travelling the world.
The Chapel dates back to 1100, and I was honestly in awe of how beautiful it is, and how very well looked after it is.
We opted for the Annual Membership Pass. With it being only £48.00 for a family of 5 for the year, with virtually unlimited access throughout the year, we decided it was a bargain.
I was right. We have already been twice and I know we haven’t seen everything there is to see yet either.
The house itself really is beautiful. I do believe that I was born in the wrong era. I should have been one of those ‘ladies’ who slept in late, read books all day, took tea in the parlour, and had someone to do my hair and help me get dressed everyday. Oh, and a cook and army of servants so all I had to do was read, and occasionally walk around the gardens.
Yes, I think that would have suited me quite nicely.
Apparently the Gascoigne’s loved Africa and they actually names a few of the bedrooms in the house after places in Africa that they had visited. There was the Rhodesia Room (I’m from Zimbabwe – formerly Rhodesia), and the Cape Room.
The amount of ‘old world’ artifacts and collectibles on display to the public in immaculate condition is amazing. It makes you grateful that there are organizations out there who do value preserving pieces of history for future generations to admire and learn from.
… are stunning. There are so many different parts to the gardens that it is just too much to cover in one post. I will end up stuffing this post full of pictures.
The most exciting parts of The Gardens for us as a family were the Deer Park and hay-bale maze, the Wildlife Park and Bird Garden, and the ‘Captain Wood Walk’.
The Deer Park
The first time we went we missed this completely. I mean we saw it, but we got so caught up with all the other stuff to see that we didn’t venture that way. When I took the girls back a second time it was relatively quiet and I let them run wild (I mean, that’s half the reason we went out), and play in the maze made from hay bales. It was so good. I think if I had let them they would have quite happily played in there for another hour.
We also visited the Deer Hide, but let’s face it, taking two little girls to ‘sneak up quietly’ on animals, is never going to work out, is it? The deer heard them coming quite possibly from when we left home and had moved on to the further side of their massive enclosure. Very wise!
Better luck next time girls.
The Wildlife World
So much to see! So much. Let me show you in pictures …
A Walk In The Woods
This is definitely something I want to do more of, and also find out more about. According to their website there are three different walks to do around the estate. The one we happened upon was when we were trying to tear the girls away from the huge outdoor playground, without having to go back the way we’d come via the ice-cream shop & restaurant!
We followed a trail through the leafy forest. Every now and then there would be a man-made balancing beam, or other such activity to interest the girls. They also had these super cute carved wooden birds at random places around the grounds. Like I said, I need to investigate more about this, but we have plenty of time now that we have signed up for annual membership.
This was perfect for us. There were two separate playground areas. One was more for the under 5s, and the other was more for bigger kids and families. They have picnic benches dotted around the playgrounds. This is perfect for families. You can take your own picnic blanket and plonk yourself down and just relax whilst the kids
burn off some energy play and enjoy themselves!
There is so much more to explore. The walks, the orchard, the house in peace without the kids racing through it! I also can’t wait to go and watch one of the outdoor movies they host there. That’s going to be a real treat! It is the perfect setting.
We will definitely be making more family visits to Lotherton Hall. It is one of those places you just want to keep going back to.